Are you looking for a way to sell your creations or products online, but don’t have the time, the means, or even the desire to create a merchant site? No problem! Today, it is possible to sell via social networks without having to bother with a website. The Instagram application offers the possibility of marketing its products in a simple and user-friendly way, especially for small creators. What are the pros and cons of selling on Instagram without a website? What features to use? We take stock and offer three ideas within everyone’s reach to grow your business on Instagram.
Why market your products on Instagram?
A very popular platform that appeals to young workers
You have chosen to get started on Instagram and you have done well! The photo and video sharing application, born in 2010 and acquired by Facebook in 2012, is a worldwide success. Instagram was even the most downloaded application in the world in the fourth quarter of 2021, ahead of TikTok.
According to a study conducted by the start-up SOPRISM, Instagram has 1.4 billion users worldwide, including 22 million in France. Another interesting fact: 70% of members are under 35 years old. From then on, we understand that this is the place to be when trying to make your brand known. Especially if your target is in this age group, your potential customers are bound to be on Instagram!
An ideal social network for creators and entrepreneurs
Instagram is a platform associated with relaxation. Internet users wander there in search of inspiration and new trends. According to a social media verification agency, 83% of Instagram users say they have discovered new products or services on the platform and 90% follow at least one brand or business account.
Instagram combines many additional features for a brand: publication of photos and texts, videos in various formats (stories, real, IGTV, lives), private messaging… It’s a great playground for promoting your products. creative way, while federating a community inspired by your universe.
Selling on Instagram Without a Website: Pros and Cons
The advantages: a free and easy-to-use application
A website requires an investment in terms of budget and time. Instagram has the advantage of being free, including for business accounts. You will also need to create one, to access your account statistics, launch advertising campaigns with Instagram Ads or schedule publications. Even without technical knowledge, it is easy to open an account and fund it.
The big strengths of Instagram are the community aspect, which is very important, and the great freedom in the creation of content. Have fun! And take pleasure in exchanging with your subscribers, it’s very rewarding.
Disadvantages: creativity and responsiveness required
As we have seen, there are millions of Instagram accounts. If you hope to stand out, you need to post quality, original, and regular content. This goes through:
- beautiful worked photos, where your products will be highlighted;
- neat texts to make your subscribers want to buy;
- stories, which bring the account to life on a daily basis, create proximity with your followers and strengthen your visibility.
You will also need to take the time to respond to comments and private messages, in order to retain your community.
Finally, since the sales and payment processes will not be automated, you will have to set up “artisanal” logistics that will require organization. For example, if you ask buyers to contact you by private message, you will have to manage the flow of orders in a reactive way and without confusion.
This is why the choice to sell on Instagram without a website is rather suitable for artisanal creators with small sales volumes.
Let’s see below, in a concrete way, 3 simple solutions to take action.
Method 1: use posts to sell your products
This is the simplest solution. Your Instagram feed (the photo grid that makes up your page) becomes your showcase. Each publication is an opportunity to present one or more articles. Think about the best way to showcase your products. If you sell linens, stage the cushions on a bed or sofa. Do you make comforters? They will be more desirable in a bassinet (or even in the arms of a baby!) than placed on a table. The clothes will be more attractive worn by a model. Help your customers project themselves. You can integrate up to ten photos per publication, in the form of a carousel. This can allow you to zoom in on details and vary the shots.
Your photos must be of good quality. Use natural light and be creative. No big budget needed! Find corners and accessories in your home that can serve as decor. You can also invest in equipment (plain background, projector, etc.). Pay attention to the overall rendering of your feed, which must be harmonious. For this, always use the same image processing or the same filter.
Use the photo caption to give details about the items: history, manufacture, nature of the fabric or materials used, dimensions, price… Don’t hesitate to do storytelling. If these are your creations, a good tip is to name them to make them easier to identify (example: Alba cushion, Magritte hat, etc.). Finally, specify how to contact you (comment, private message, email?) and possibly the terms of payment and shipping.
💡 Tip: insert relevant hashtags at the end of each post and share them in stories to increase their chances of being seen!
Method #2: Plan flash sales in stories
Feeding your feed regularly is essential, but to further animate your account, why not create an event by organizing a flash sale? Set a day and time and meet your followers in stories. You can communicate in advance about this date, create a countdown in stories, and launch a targeted advertising campaign (sponsored posts) to attract new subscribers.
You can save photo or video stories of your items for sale in advance, with their name, a small descriptive text, the price, etc. Explain in the preamble how the sale works, for example “first come, first served”. At the scheduled time, post your stories. You just have to wait for the order messages!
Another way to do this is to showcase your items for sale in advance in featured posts or stories (which stay permanently on your page) and set up an order session. Only the first 30 Internet users to send you a message on such a day at such a time (for example) will see their order validated.
By creating the event, you arouse desire among your subscribers, who will not want to miss the opportunity to buy an exclusive piece!
Method n° 3: organize live sales thanks to Instagram lives
Does the idea of appearing in front of the camera live in front of tens or hundreds of people not scare you? Instagram Live is for you! This feature allows you to broadcast a live video and chat with those who are watching you. Like a teleshopping host, you can show your creations or your products from every angle, organize demonstrations and simultaneously answer questions from the followers who appear. It’s a dynamic way to promote your merchandise and build trust with your subscribers.
If the exercise is user-friendly, it must be prepared in advance to avoid hiccups. Give the reference of the articles so that your subscribers can order easily during or after the live.
This method requires good organization, since it is based only on the oral. You will have to provide your live performance, keep an eye on the comments, improvise responses and manage orders a posteriori. If several people have sent you a message to buy the same item, who do you prefer? You will need to spend time sorting through your messages and responding to them after the sale.
Developing your business on Instagram: a good plan to start
You now have a panel of ideas for marketing your products on Instagram without a website. These methods will be ideal, especially when starting your business, because they allow you, without investing money, to make yourself known, to build up a customer base and to test the reception given to your products. If success is there and orders are pouring in, then you can consider going further by creating an online store or a product catalog on another platform, while continuing to use Instagram as a showcase. You can easily direct your subscribers to it by tagging the articles on your publications (Instagram Shopping) and by inserting the link of your e-shop in your stories. Your customers will then be able to make their purchases independently.
So be open to the opportunities offered by Instagram, especially since the social network shows its objective of supporting creators. Adam Mosseri, the boss of Instagram, even made it a priority for 2022, promising “new monetization tools”.